Kong on the Planet of the Apes #6 (April 2018)

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #6

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #6 is one of those shocking disappointments. When I got done with the comic, I had to page back through to make sure I’d read it right. It really does just serve as a connective tissue between the first Apes movie and the second one. None of the character development matters. None of the events matter. It’s all about moving chess pieces.

I suppose Ferrier does an admirable job moving them. I mean, it’s soulless work, but he does the work. He and his editors do prime the scene for the second Apes movie. They just don’t do anything else.

Oh, wait, there’s an Empire State Building reference. Because Kong hits the Forbidden Zone and this time it’s basically all of New York City, just underground. There aren’t the budget constraints of the second movie.

It doesn’t come off well, visually. Nothing comes off well.

What a disappointing book. Though I’m upset with myself I had any hope for it.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Alex Guimarães; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Gavin Gronenthal and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #5 (March 2018)

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #5

Kong attacks Ape City in Kong on the Planet of the Apes #5. And instead of being some fantastic homage to previous Kong stories, that giant ape attack just shows how poorly Magno is able at visualizing a giant ape attacking humanoid apes. The Kong action panels are sparing–though there are some questionable close-ups–and even then way too much. By the end of the comic, when the Skull Island priestess hopes on Kong’s shoulder to run off and plan their escape? Magno’s burned through all the goodwill. And the book had just on surviving nostalgia fumes.

Until Kong breaks out, most of the issue is the movie regulars being awful to one another. Cornelius has betrayed Zira, Zaius is playing martyr, Ursus (the ape general) is trying to take down Kong. It’s tiresome. And the furry dinosaur monsters aren’t any better.

Kong breaking out gives the story some energy, even if the art doesn’t work out, and Ferrier writes the issue into a perplexing soft cliffhanger. A callback, again, to the first movie and an unexpected plot development. The development makes me concerned how Ferrier’s going to wrap it all up in an issue.

Unless Boom! has Son of Kong on the Planet of the Apes planned or something.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Alex Guimarães; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Gavin Gronenthal and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #4 (February 2018)

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #4

Maybe a quarter of the way into Kong on the Planet of the Apes #4–really makes me hope there’s a Son of Kong Beneath the Planet of the Apes sequel–but about a quarter in, I couldn’t help but wonder why I’m reading such a depressing comic. It’s not like there’s a happy ending for a Planet of the Apes story or a King Kong story. This issue doesn’t just have a captured Kong crying–dashing hopes of him stomping Ape City–it’s got the gorillas kidnapping one of the Skull Island natives and then a big twist for fans of the original movies. Especially the first three movies.

Of course, not all in the first quarter. The first quarter just has kidnapped native and crying Kong.

But I kept reading. Because even though reading some depressing sociological look at a fictive future society seems not just pointless but downright unpleasant… Ferrier writes sociological looks at fictive future societies quite well. He covers a lot. Religion. Hucksterism. Science. Military. The intersections of the four. It’s a smart script. It just happens to be for a mostly disposable licensed franchise crossover.

The last quarter of the issue is far more action-packed, with Ferrier and Magno pacing it beautifully.

I knew I read this comic for better reasons than I’m a sucker for Kong.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Alex Guimarães; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Gavin Gronenthal and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #3 (January 2018)

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #3

I was wondering how long I could sustain interest in Kong on the Planet of the Apes and I think that answer is three issues. Kong #3 is fine–Magno’s art is less detailed, which sometimes works better than when he’s extremely detailed. Detailed meaning lines. Lots and lots of lines.

The humans are good, the Kong action is good. The Apes? Not so much. I mean, it’s fine, but boring. Ferrier doesn’t have anything for the good apes to do this issue. It’s all the bad apes planning to attack and kidnap Kong.

Why?

Because it’s what happens in Kong stories.

Unfortunately, Ferrier forces his way through it all. The scientists keep talking about making important discoveries but they aren’t discovering anything, just talking about it. The gorilla general’s story is ominous and unlikable. It’s unpleasant. The bad apes are planning to kill all the Skull Island humans, it’s just waiting for them to do it.

There’s no humor in this issue either. No witty observations about either franchise. There is some stuff from the BOOM! Kong license, which isn’t the movies and centers around the Skull Island tribal culture.

Frankly, yawn.

But those scenes are the ones with better Magno lines.

Anyway. I say I’m done but I’ll probably be back for one more. I just remembered Ferrier’s doing a direct sequel to the first movie and maybe there are some loose ends to tie up from it. Maybe Charlton Heston comes back. Maybe Kong carries Charlton Heston to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

Probably not. But maybe.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Alex Guimarães; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Gavin Gronenthal and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Kong on the Planet of the Apes 2 (December 2017)

Kong on the Planet of the Apes #2

Ferrier continues with his weird sequel to the first Planet of the Apes movie, only with a little King Kong thrown in. And a lot of Skull Island. There’s plenty of Skull Island. And its natives and its monsters.

Magno’s design on the monsters–furry dinosaurs, killer vines, a pterodactyl–all looks a little off. Even though there’s good panel composition, Magno’s a little too busy for the action. He paces well though. He and Ferrier get a lot of story into one issue.

Even if it’s just the apes walking around the island until the natives find them, so not a long present action. But an active one.

Ferrier tries to reconcile the first film’s events with the rest of the original film series’s continuity (like why do the apes now hunt humans given John Huston told them to be friends). And he and Magno are downright gentle when it comes to Zira and Cornelius.

Kong is more than competently produced and fairly interesting (thanks to Ferrier).

If you dig Planet of the Apes licensed comics, anyway.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Alex Guimarães; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Gavin Gronenthal and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Kong on the Planet of the Apes 1 (November 2017)

Kpota1Kong on the Planet of the Apes #1

For a while, Kong on the Planet of the Apes is kind of fun. Writer Ryan Ferrier is doing a direct sequel to the original movie, but with Queen Kong on the shore just behind the Statue of Liberty. Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter are still under house arrest for helping Charlton Heston. It’s an interesting way to do the crossover–Ferrier’s doing a sequel as subplot.

Plus there are a few moments where Dr. Zaius reminds, alternately, of Robert Armstrong and, yes, Charles Grodin. Kong on the Planet might be an Apes sequel, but it also has a lot of King Kong-related feels.

Basically the remaining cast of the first movie goes on the Kong hunt expedition. Zira writes about the ocean voyage. They land at another ape settlement and get provisions and hear tales of the dreaded giant apes.

By the end of the issue, they’re at Skull Island and artist Carlos Magno is drawing a terrible Kong. Some of the mystery is gone. But hopefully next issue will have enough oddity factor to get it through. Ferrier’s script falls off once they’re underway at sea. He’s going to have to reestablish the book real quick next issue.

As for Magno’s art? Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not. He’s too concentrated on lines. His faces aren’t distinct. They’re busy but not distinct. It’s a talky comic, knowing a character from sight is important. And Dr. Zaius never looks the same from panel to panel. There’s always something a little off.

Anyway. It’s worth at least another issue. It’s going to be six issues; Ferrier makes the case for about three here. So two’s going to be important.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Alex Guimarães; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Gavin Gronenthal and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Kennel Block Blues 4 (May 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #4

Ferrier tries really hard to get this issue to the finish. It doesn’t really happen. Oh, he and Bayliss get there, but there’s nowhere for them to be. The characters never resonate; definitely not the protagonists, who have almost no chemistry. Ferrier takes it out on an even bigger downer note.

This issue has a musical number and a prison riot. Now, Kennel Block Blues has never shown the human “guards” past some demonic hands. Only they’re people. There is some semblance of functioning reality to the book, as much as Ferrier tries to avoid it, he does need it. Because if there’s not a functioning reality, who cares if these dogs get loose.

Maybe the first half of the issue is solid. Bayliss’s art is good throughout, but Ferrier’s only got story for the first half. Once there’s the prison break, he loses track.

It’s a bumpy book, with great art and not bad zeitgeist gimmickry; Ferrier can’t bring it together for the finale.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gumport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Hot Damn 2 (May 2016)

Hot Damn #2

I’m still undecided on Hot Damn, which I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting to jump off with this issue–something about Ferrier’s writing style for this comic, he’s trying too hard to be flashy. He knows Ramon can really do up the Heaven and Hell scenery and Ferrier pushes it. There is actual nuance to some of the characters, Ferrier just doesn’t want to get caught up.

He wants to be sensational. He wants to do something blasphemous. He fails. Even with Ramon’s art, Hot Damn is just desperate for attention. I’m not even sure what zeitgeist it’s chasing, because Ferrier has original material and then he has tropes he goes through. Maybe it’s something with IDW editorial. Hot Damn is creator-owned but does have an editor.

So I guess I’m on for another issue. There’s some good stuff in the issue, some amusing moments, some very amusing sight gags from Ramon. There’s also a lot of lame stuff in the issue, lame moments, lame sight gags from Ramon. I’m far more curious to see if Ferrier gets anywhere, even somewhere tepid, with Hot Damn than I am to see how the narrative goes. While narrative’s barely passable, the execution’s bewildering.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; editor, David Hedgecock; publisher, IDW Publishing.

HOT DDDDDDD

Hot Damn 1 (April 2016)

Hot Damn #1

Didn’t I just read a Hell series lately? Or was it a Heaven series? One or the other. Or it’s both. Hot Damn is sort of both. Ryan Ferrier writes, Valentin Ramon illustrates. It’s the story of some guy who ODes on coke and dies. He goes to Hell. Hell has thousand year twelve step programs (regular sinners promoted to demons), it has gross junk food, it has crappy apartments, it’s generally icky. With lots of fluids.

Ramon does a fine job with all the Hell stuff. He does a fine job with all the Heaven stuff (angels getting stoned, mostly). It’s detailed and never too icky. There’s far more implied grossness than actual.

But is Hot Damn any good? Eh.

It’s okay. It’s not the worst “slacker goes to Hell” story in the world. It’s not the best. Ferrier’s a problematic writer, but he actually doesn’t do much here. The jokes are all pretty standard, there’s nothing of particular note about the characters. I thought the Devil was going to be interesting, but no. He’s just a boring office guy so far. Sure, Hitler, Stalin and Mao are all in his office being tormented but it’s Hell. Stalin, Mao and Hitler in Hell are all tropes.

Maybe something interesting will happen next issue. But, sadly, I sort of doubt it.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; editor, David Hedgecock; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Kennel Block Blues 3 (April 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #3

I had to reread parts of this issue of Kennel Block Blues because it really does fit my theorized pattern to Ferrier’s four issue limited series. Great open, weak second issue, then strong for the last two. The guy needs to just go with three issue limited series, he really does.

This issue has the hero–Oliver (not Elliot, I think I called him Elliot last time)–in solitary. He’s got to confront the truth about himself in order to become the superhero. It’s not deep because it’s kind of absurd. Ferrier’s trying to do it from the dog’s perspective, but not the anthropomorphized dog, the actual adorable puppy.

Bayliss does a wonderful job with all the art. He’s got three very different tones to bring together and he does–real world, “human” world, hallucination world. Blues becomes a Disney movie for a second, then goes back to being a Miramax movie.

It’s a strange book and not entirely successful. The characters are good, but thin. Ferrier’s relying on the gimmick. Albeit a sturdy gimmick.

Good comic.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gumport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Kennel Block Blues 2 (March 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #2

Kennel Block Blues has that predictable Ferrier drop in quality the second issue. I’m fine with it. What’s weird–and I was expecting Ferrier to have a drop because he’s stretched three issues worth of story to four issues before–is how well Blues contains the explosion. The story this issue–involving a terribly planned prison break (I mean, one really has to question the intelligence of this dogs)–rearranges the characters. It doesn’t develop them, it moves them to different places in the narrative. Actually, it’s weirder than I thought….

Well, in rearranging the characters’ conflicts, it acts more as a postscript to the first issue than it’s own part of a whole. It’s a treading water issue, only really, really fast treading. Ferrier has a lot to get through. He and Bayliss don’t just have the prison break to stretch out, they also have the way they introduce the plan. It’s awesome visual pacing from Bayliss. It’s not particularly effective because there’s no content, but the art’s great.

So, even though it’s not a great comic, it’s a well-produced mediocre one. Ferrier hasn’t found the right editor. Or I’ll be wrong and the next issue of Blues won’t recover; I think it will though.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gumport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Kennel Block Blues 1 (February 2016)

Kennel Block Blues #1

Prison comics are, often from Boom!, now a thing. Ryan Ferrier and Daniel Bayliss’s Kennel Block Blues is an animal kennel–a cross-species animal kennel–as a prison. It’s one of those books I sort of wish I’d see from Vertigo. Well, Vertigo a few years ago. Something media-friendly without being prepackaged for other media. It’s mainstream pop culture, but the more erudite varieties.

It’s also excellent.

Ferrier’s protagonist, whose name I don’t remember–Buddy, maybe–is freshly incarcerated. He’s the entry point. Through him, we meet the other canine inmates–the cats are the dominate species in Blues. There’s male and female inmates together. Not even a thought, presumably because they’re all spayed and neutered.

There’s funny pet stuff, there’s depressingly bleak prison stuff. Ferrier’s got the right tone and he’s got the right artist. Bayliss has been kicking around for a while and Blues has his work the tightest I’ve seen it. He gets to be busy but still restrained, still focused on moving the story forward.

Knowing Ferrier, the ride will be rocky but rewarding–or maybe he’s got a better plot line this series. Blues is a confident, assured comic. The creators, the editors. It’s deservedly slick. Ferrier’s gotten to be a writer I look forward to reading. And Boom!’s brand comes with some built-in respect these days.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Daniel Bayliss; colorist, Adam Metcalfe; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Mary Gunport and Eric Harburn; publisher, Image Comics.

Sons of Anarchy 23 (July 2013)

Sons of Anarchy #23

This issue of Sons of Anarchy doubles down on everything wrong about the comic.

Not wrong about it overall, but wrong in terms of the creative direction of the book. For example, Bergara doesn’t take enough time with the panels, so what’s this issue’s solution? Over-stylize him. It feels like a spoof of “Miami Vice” at times. The heavy stylization doesn’t even try to hide the lack of detail in the art.

And Ferrier’s script brings in the IRA, because it’s actually a comic book from the past. It’s set in the late 1980s, early 1990s when you just brought the IRA into something so you could have a familiar looking guest star but nothing too exotic. Only it’s a comic book and doing a gimmick like IRA vs. SAMCRO is astoundingly unimaginative.

There’s actually some decent stuff with one guy in a trailer park. Everything else is crap.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Matías Bergara; colorist, Paul Little; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Mary Gumport and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

D4VE 3 (February 2014)

D4VE #3

This issue of D4VE is the very definition of a bridging issue. Nothing happens. D4VE starts the issue getting ready to go to war against the alien invaders, he ends the issue getting ready to go to war against the alien invaders.

Except he makes up with his wife and he and his son bond. Why? No reason. At least the son is hanging out with him so the reader gets to see some of the bonding, but the wife just up and calls and forgives him for being terrible.

Except D4VE hasn’t really been terrible so it’s a pointless thing for her to apologize for. D4VE is clearly going to be right about the aliens–Ferrier shows the aliens plotting against the robots, shows the robots being too dumb to catch on. It’s a treading water issue.

There’s some decent art from Ramon but the issue grinds along painfully.

CREDITS

Writer and letterer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; publisher, Monkeybrain Comics.

Sons of Anarchy 22 (June 2015)

Sons of Anarchy #22

For the first time since he took over writing the book, Ferrier delivers a good Sons of Anarchy script. He doesn’t waste too much time with his new character–the obnoxious club prospect who turns on them–and he gives everyone else enough to do. He actually works on Jax’s character, which is cool.

Unfortunately, Bergara’s art is just as inappropriate as always. It seems like a Saturday morning cartoon, not a gritty comic book. There’s lots of blood this issue, but lots of blood not a comic book make. The prospect looks like mean Archie, everyone else looks slightly goofy. It’s like Bergara’s saying not to take the comic too seriously and not the sentiment one needs while reading it.

Ferrier’s moves are quite good once the issue gets going–so good it’s almost possible to overlook the art problems–and it ends well. Except the art, of course.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Matías Bergara; colorist, Paul Little; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Mary Gumport and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

D4VE 2 (January 2014)

D4VE #2

It’s a perfectly okay issue of D4VE, it just doesn’t go anywhere. D4VE’s wife is leaving him. Wasn’t she ready to leave him in the first issue? There’s no drama to it. And, given it’s about a bunch of robots, Ferrier’s oddly calm about having characters who are monotonous.

There’s some stuff with D4VE and his son, which is a strange concept–robots building little robots to emulate human behavior (these contradictions, which D4VE sometimes comments on, are some of Ferrier’s stronger details).

Some of the problem with the issue is the aliens. There are lots of aliens. They distract from D4VE’s story, but they also give Ferrier a way to manipulate the reader. It’s sort of deft manipulation, just still obvious.

Ferrier also hints at forthcoming details. There are a couple times this issue it’s all just set up for next time out.

The good art from Ramon helps.

CREDITS

Writer and letterer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; publisher, Monkeybrain Comics.

Curb Stomp 4 (May 2015)

Curb Stomp #4

It’s an okay finish for Curb Stomp, nothing more. It’s like Ferrier decided the story had gotten too big so he brings it all down to a more personal story for the final… but then he realized he’d made it too small so he put in a lot more big action. And poor Neogi is left to sort it out. Large action happens in very small panels this issue.

The finale’s strangely reductive for the comic too. All the world building Ferrier did at the start–and even maintained to some point–is over now. It’s the finish, no time for new things. Lukcily Neogi’s art never lets it feel rushed; even if it feels constrained, Neogi’s composition of each panel is strong.

Ferrier probably needed another issue to make it work better. Who knows if the somewhat off narration would play out with enough space. Probably. Still, worthwhile comic.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Devaki Neogi; colorist, Jeremy Lawson; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Sons of Anarchy 21 (May 2015)

Sons of Anarchy #21

It’s a better issue but still not a distinguished one. Ferrier treats the characters a little like cattle. He has them stand around, he has them go crazy, but he never gives the impression they’re anything but what he needs them to be for the story.

The issue ends in about the same place as it begins, which is odd. Even though there are exciting moments throughout the issue, by looping around, Ferrier just makes the reader wonder why the issue was necessary. And the reader should never be left wondering why something is necessary.

Bergara’s art is improving. It’s still too exaggerated and cartoony at times, but it’s definitely improving. In many ways, especially with the flat ending, it’s more successful this time out than the writing.

Sons is better this issue than last, but the series is still in trouble. Ferrier just doesn’t have a feel for it.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Matías Bergara; colorist, Paul Little; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Mary Gumport and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Curb Stomp 3 (April 2015)

Curb Stomp #3

The first issue of Curb Stomp had a lot of promise, the second issue implied maybe it didn’t… the third shows Ferrier and Neogi are going to do even better than that initial promise. It’s an outstanding comic book with a masterful control of the plotting. And some of Neogi’s best art–there are a lot of rituals in this issue (as the gangs negotiate) and Neogi has a visual theme for each different kind of ritual. It’s awesome.

Ferrier’s script is almost in real time but lots of things happen. It’s not a talking heads comic, it’s an action comic, just one with occasional talking. Each conversation is a confrontation, which works entirely differently. It’s not about exposition or explanation, it’s about action.

Not to say there isn’t general action–whether it’s suspense or just all out fight scenes–but Ferrier and Neogi do a great job maintaining tone.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Devaki Neogi; colorist, Jeremy Lawson; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

D4VE 1 (February 2015)

D4VE #1

D4VE is the traditional American story of the disaffected middle aged office worker, the one whose wife doesn’t find him attractive anymore, the one who has a terrible relationship with his kid.

Only D4VE is a robot. Man made robot, robot killed man, robots inherit the Earth. Only Ferrier takes it to the nth degree and the robots actually went out and killed every living thing they could find. Actually, it’s kind of like the Borg. Only Valentin Ramon doesn’t draw D4VE and the other robots grody. They’re really slick futuristic robots, like Boris Vallejo robots.

Does D4VE work out in the end? Pretty much. Nothing happens (except aliens invading, possibly giving former war-bot D4VE a chance to shine again). D4VE fights with his wife, his boss, goes to a strip club. Ferrier isn’t doing anything new, he’s just found a new way of doing it.

And it works.

CREDITS

Writer and letterer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Valentin Ramon; editor, David Hedgecock; publisher, IDW Comics.

Sons of Anarchy 20 (April 2015)

Sons of Anarchy #20

Ferrier’s second issue as writer is better than his first, but it’s still got a lot of problems. He gives the SAMCRO club a nemesis in this dopey little punk, who Bergara draws like an Archie character. It’s weird.

The insider turned villain thing isn’t new, not even with the setup Ferrier’s using; it’s been in Avengers, it’s been in Justice League. It’s a team book comic trope. So Ferrier’s turned Sons of Anarchy into a team book. Swell. Maybe if Boom! embraced it they could do their heads in the top left corner of the cover.

(I’d actually love to see that).

It’s okay on those terms. As a licensed property, one questionably comic-ready, it’s fine to turn Sons of Anarchy into a team comic book. With slightly cartoon-y art from Bergara.

And Ferrier’s subplots are good. But they’re just dressing on the bland, familiar main plot.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Matías Bergara; colorist, Paul Little; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Mary Gumport and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Curb Stomp 2 (March 2015)

Curb Stomp #2

The second half of the issue works out a lot better than the first. It’s strange but the first half feels like a different comic; it’s a little too soon for writer Ferrier to have defined the Curb Stomp reading experience but it’s also not. It’s a limited series. Readers want to feel a connection to the previous issue.

This issue has Ferrier doing a lot of political intrigue. It’s all excruciatingly boring. The comic does not seem to have any hook this issue, which isn’t good for Ferrier. The ending sort of delivers on one promise from the issue, but that promise was just a red herring.

And Ferrier’s off with the dialogue this time around too. The previous issue had an urgency around the usually somewhat inane document.

Artist Neogi runs hot and cold. Decent composition can’t outweigh the static faces on the characters.

It needs more oomph.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Devaki Neogi; colorist, Jeremy Lawson; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Sons of Anarchy 19 (March 2015)

Sons of Anarchy #19

On his first issue, it’s clear new writer Ryan Ferrier doesn’t have handle on Sons of Anarchy. He’s got Bergara on the art, which doesn’t exactly help him. Bergara has a few more really good panels this issue than I was expecting, but he doesn’t bring anything to the book overall.

And it’s not clear what Ferrier’s trying to do. The Sons bring in a new member who screws up a deal. There are problems and there will be more problems, there’s just not any tension. It’s also strange how the kid gets inducted; maybe because Ferrier doesn’t even write new dialogue for the scene, just recycles stuff from earlier.

Sons has had a really good run; it’s possible Ferrier is just finding his footing but it sure doesn’t bode well for the series’s future. It’s an unworkable combination of too ambitious and not ambitious enough, which is too bad.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Matías Bergara; colorist, Paul Little; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Mary Gumport and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Curb Stomp 1 (February 2015)

Curb Stomp #1

Curb Stomp, quite frankly, plays like a Troma remake of Repo Man. It’s post-apocalyptic, but not in a fantastical way, with its characters just trying to get by in a difficult world. The leads are the five or six members of the gang The Fevers. They’re punk rock and all women, as opposed to their rival gangs, who are coed and don’t have any major unified fashion statements going on.

Writer Ryan Ferrier worries more about cool characters than good dialogue and it works. His dialogue’s fine, affected, not realistic. He doesn’t plot out long scenes. He keeps it moving. A lot happens in the first issue, maybe two major plot points, which is nice to see in an indie limited series.

Devaki Neogi’s art reminds a little of Love and Rockets (in a good way) and the issue is a rather substantial success. Curb Stomp gets started strong.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Devaki Neogi; colorist, Neil Lalonde; letterer, Colin Bell; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Shutter 1 (April 2014)

Shutter #1

Shutter needs to take a breath. Between Leila Del Duca’s frantic, detailed art and Joe Keatinge’s hip, artificial plotting and dialogue, it’s an adventure comic without any sense of adventure. When the lead complains life is boring, even though there are mythical creatures living among humans and some kind of futuristic steampunk thing going on… it makes sense. Shutter is actually pretty boring so why wouldn’t the protagonist be bored too.

It’s odd in some ways too how Keatinge pays lip service to it being post-gender–the lead follows in her father’s footsteps, who follows in his mother’s, etc–but then his details for the protagonist are generic single woman stuff.

More odd is the first backup–there are two, neither good, but the first one opens with the mother of all curse words. After a very YA appropriate feature. Guess they don’t actually want crossover audience.

Shutter misfires.

C- 

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Keatinge; artist, Leila Del Duca; colorist, Owen Gieni; letterer, Ed Brisson. Mungore; writer and artist, Ryan Alexander-Tanner; colorist, Catherine Peach. Tiger Lawyer, Sidebar; writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Felipe Torrent. Publisher, Image Comics.

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